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The best website hosting services in 2020

Best website hosting services: young woman using phone and laptop
Discover the best website hosting services for your needs (Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

Seeking the best website hosting services? In an incredibly competitive space, where each company puts out a lot of spin, confusing jargon and sometimes outright fibs, it can be tricky to see the wood for the trees. So in this article, we’ve done the work for you. Below, you'll see our selection of best web hosting services available today.

But which one is the best fit for you? To decide between these companies, you need to know what kind of hosting you're looking for. If you’re not sure, first read our quick guide to the different types of hosting, below.  

Top 3 website hosting services right now

1. Bluehost – the best choice for beginners
If you're new to web hosting, then Bluehost is simply the best choice. It has an easy-to-use interface, fantastic customer support (through email, phone, and live chat), and its analytics and SEO tools are simple and effective.
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2. Siteground – web hosting with the best support
If you expect to be contacting tech support frequently, then Siteground is the best option for you. Siteground may cost a little more than some of the other options out there, but the quality of its support makes it totally worth it. Support is 24/7 via chatbots, phone, email, live chat and tickets.
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3. Hostgator – the best shared hosting provider
Shared hosting – where your site shares a server and resources with others – tends to keep costs low and that's exactly what you get with Hostgator: great value for money. Hostgator doesn't skimp in other areas either, with top support, a free domain, unlimited email addresses, and a website builder.
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What are the different types of web hosting services?

There are several types of web hosting, with the most popular being shared hosting. This means that your website will be stored on the same server as a lot of other sites, making it the cheapest hosting you can get. It's a good choice for beginners or people for small websites who don’t get a huge amount of traffic. However, if you have bigger or more complex websites that experience big spikes in traffic, or large amounts of traffic overall, shared hosting probably won’t allow enough bandwidth for you to provide a good service to your users, and you’ll need to look at other types of hosting.

The next step up in terms of cost is VPS hosting, where your site will still share space on the server, but with fewer other sites. That means you’ll get more bandwidth, your site will perform better, and you’ll also have more safety features, and more fine control over how your plan works. 

Up from that again is dedicated hosting, where you basically get an entire server to yourself. This  is best suited to anyone looking to build complex, high traffic websites. But what if you don’t like the implications of relying on just one server? Then you want cloud hosting which, as the name suggests, spreads your data across a number of different servers, usually around the world.

Finally, the bigger the site and the more complex your needs, the more tricky hosting becomes to manage. Hence many providers also offer managed hosting, where the hosting company handles all the setup, administration, management, and support. It now becomes their specific responsibility to ensure your websites and apps stay up and running at all times.

Cartoon of two hipsters using laptops

(Image credit: Liquidweb)

01. Bluehost

The best website hosting for beginners.

Basic plan: $2.95 / £2.22 per month | Free domain: First year | Money-back guarantee: 30 days | Customer support: 24/7 phone, email, live chat

Easy to use
Excellent customer support
Useful analytics tools
Not the most generous guarantee

If you’re new to hosting, we recommend Bluehost, because it provides an easy to use interface, as well as superior customer support via phone, email or live chat. There are also some good analytics and SEO tools to help you improve your website’s performance. And overall you get a great all-round service, making Bluehost an excellent choice for anyone, novice or experienced. 

We'd add that Bluehost also offers the best website hosting for WordPress sites. Depending on your plan, your WordPress software is either installed automatically or in one click; you can transfer a WordPress.org site from another host for free within 30 days; and there are some great managed WordPress hosting options at the higher end of the price bracket too.

Cartoon of hand using laptop

(Image credit: Siteground)

02. Siteground

The best website hosting for technical support.

Basic plan: $3.95 / £5.99 per month | Free domain: No | Customer support: 24/7 phone, email, live chat, ticket based support | Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Helpful tech support
High uptime and speeds
Choose your location
No free domain

Are you expecting to lean on technical support a lot, when setting up and managing your website hosting? Then choosing between services on the basis of price alone may turn out to be a false economy. Time is money, after all, so for the best customer service in the hosting sphere, we’d recommend Siteground

Siteground provides friendly, helpful and enthusiastic 24/7 support through a wide variety of channels, including chatbots, phone, email, live chat and tickets. Calls are answered quickly, and tickets receive a first reply within 15 minutes on average. 

We also like Siteground's high uptime and speeds, the fact that you can choose between servers in America, Asia, Australia and Europe, and the inclusion of advanced features for developers, such as being able to create Git repositories.

hostgator Cartoon of alligator

(Image credit: Hostgator)

03. HostGator

The best shared hosting provider.

Shared hosting from: $2.64 / £2.75 per month | Free domain: On Cloud, Shared, and Optimized WordPress hosting plans | Customer support: 24/7 phone, email, live chat | Money-back guarantee: 45 days

Great performance
Freebie-packed shared plans
45-day money-back guarantee
Free domain only on some plans

Looking for shared hosting? We recommend Hostgator. It’s a great hosting provider in general, offering first-class uptime, performance and customer support, whatever your plan. But specifically on the shared plans, you get more for your money than with most, including a free domain, free SSL certificate, $100 of AdWords and Bing credits, unlimited free email addresses, and a website builder that includes 100+ mobile-friendly templates and an image library. 

We also like how Hostgator makes its three shared hosting plans clear and simple to understand. Basically, if you want to sell things on your site, you need Business; otherwise go for Hatchling if you want to host a single domain, or Baby for more than one domain.

Diagram explaining VPS hosting

(Image credit: Inmotion)

04. InMotion

The best VPS hosting provider.

Basic plan: $5.99 (about £4.60) per month | VPS hosting from: $29.99 (about £23.20) per month | Free domain: First year | Customer support: 24/7 phone, email, live chat | Money-back guarantee: 90 days for all six month+ Business, VPS and Reseller hosting packages; 30 days for all Dedicated servers and all monthly billed VPS and Reseller hosting packages

Impressive specs
Good value
Confusing naming system
Not the cheapest VPS hosting

Want VPS hosting? Then our pick of the providers is InMotion. While its cheaper shared hosting plans have their limits, InMotion really shines when it comes to the more advanced stuff. And even though their VPS plans are not the cheapest, we’d argue that they’re the best value overall, because the specs are so high. 

For example, on the cheapest plan you get 4GB RAM, 75GB SSD storage, 4TB bandwidth, three dedicated IPs, free SSLs and a cPanel for just $29.99 a month. Inmotion also offers dedicated Sysadmin support to expedite your data migration and server setup, and a choice of optimisations depending on whether your sites are based on PHP or WordPress. Yes, they could do with some snappier names for their plans (VPS-1000HA-S and VPS-2000HA-S don’t exactly trip off the tongue), but we’ll take that hit. 

Cartoon of building being constructed

(Image credit: Hostwinds)

05. Hostwinds

The best dedicated hosting provider.

Basic plan: $3.29 / £2.70 per month | Dedicated hosting from: $79.50 (about £61.50) per month | Free domain: On every new Shared Hosting, Business Hosting, or White Label Reseller Hosting for one year or longer | Customer support: 24/7 phone, email, live chat | Money-back guarantee: 30 days (annual, biennial, or triennial plans) or 48 hours (monthly, quarterly, or semiannual plans)

Fully managed accounts
Flexible sever configuration
Wide choice of operating system
Not the cheapest dedicated hosting

If you or your company has the resources to pay for dedicated hosting, you don’t want to mess around. You need a hosting provider that provides a high-spec service and a range of tools to make configuration and customisation easier. And for that, we recommend Hostwinds. 

With Hostwinds’ dedicated hosting, which starts at $79.50 a month, every server is fully managed, so you don’t have to waste your time worrying about mundane tasks such as sys admin duties, server monitoring and nightly backups. And there’s a fabulous amount of flexibility in the system. 

For example, servers can be fitted with any combination of SSD or SATA drives that suits you, and when it comes to operating systems, you can choose between many flavours of Windows and/or Linux. While the prices for all of this aren’t rock bottom, they’re pretty reasonable and represent excellent value for money overall.

DIagram of data moving around the globe

(Image credit: Hostinger)

06. Hostinger

The best cloud hosting provider.

Basic plan: 99c / 99p per month | Cloud hosting from: $9.99 / £7.99 per month | Free domain: On Premium Web Hosting plan and above | Customer support: 24/7 email or live chat | Money-back guarantee: 30 days

Very scalable
Automated updates
Strong data security
No phone support

If cloud hosting is what you seek, our top pick is Hostinger. This provider offers a great combination of speed and scalability, plus nice little touches such as automated updates, daily backups, and free dedicated IP. 

There are three clearly defined cloud hosting plans, Startup, Professional, and Enterprise. But whichever you choose, as long as you pay for at least 12 months, you’ll get a free Lifetime SSL certificate, Cloudflare protection, unlimited email accounts, and one free domain. 

With Hostinger’s data centers are spread across several countries (United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Lithuania, Singapore, Brazil, Indonesia, India), your data is super-secure. All of which makes the low prices for Hostinger's cloud hosting an absolute bargain.

Cartoon of businessman at laptop

(Image credit: Liquid Web)

07. Liquid Web

The best managed hosting provider.

Managed hosting: From $19 (about £14.50) per month | Free domain: No | Customer support: 24/7 phone, live chat or email | Money-back guarantee: Only on Cloud VPS plans (prorated)

59 second response time
30-minute hardware replacement
10x cashback if promises not kept
Limited money-back guarantee 

If you’re a company that requires managed hosting, you’re not looking for the cheapest possible service, you want the best. And without being that much more expensive than the average, Liquid Web has achieved that in style. 

For starters, they put a keen focus on technical support, for instance guaranteeing a response within 59 seconds on phone or live chat, and within 59 minutes on email. But of course, with a managed service you’d expect not to have to talk to your provider much at all: it’s all about them taking all the hassles off your hands. And Liquid Web scores very highly here as well, with specialised solutions for managing email, WordPress, WooCommerce and a whole host of other cloud products. 

Specifically, under your SLA (service-level agreement) with Liquid Web, they commit themselves to a 30-minute hardware replacement and 100% network uptime. And if they fail in that promise, they’ll give you a credit for 1,000% the actual amount of time you were affected. In short, if your approach to enterprise-level hosting is ‘set it and forget it’, you won’t find finer.

Cartoon of website on 3 different devices

(Image credit: Byethost)

08. Byethost

The best free website hosting.

Basic plan: Free | Free domain: Yes, but it ends in byethost.com | Customer support: Via tickets only

It's free!
24/7 customer support
Limited traffic
Limited site performance

Want to get hosting for your website for absolutely nothing? Amazingly, this is possible, and our favourite company in this space would have to be Byethost

Byethost provides you with 5GB of web space space and 24/7 tech support via its internal ticketing system. You can install WordPress, PrestaShop, Joomla and other platforms using the Softaculous app. Plus you get a free website builder, a free domain ending in byethost.com, and five email addresses. All without taking a single penny from you. Incredible. 

Of course, as you’d expect there are serious limitations to this free hosting. Your site is limited to 50,000 hits a day (despite the ‘unlimited bandwidth’ claims you might see), the control panel is quite clunky, and your site won’t have the fastest response times on the internet. But with all that in mind, if you just want to host a small site that’s unlikely to have many visitors, then ‘free’ is a powerful incentive indeed.  

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